The National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard (NQS)

The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and sets a high, national benchmark for early childhood education and care services in Australia.

It gives services and families a better understanding of a quality service, helping families to make informed decisions about the services providing education and care to their child. The NQS brings together seven key, quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children’s health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Leadership and service management

Services are assessed and rated by their regulatory authority against the NQS and given a rating for each of the seven quality areas and an overall rating based on these results. 

The NQS is linked to national learning frameworks that recognise children learn from birth. Services are required to base their educational program on an approved learning framework. The national learning framework Council uses is: